Revit tips -Transparent phase links, View schedule, Groups to links, Quick copy sheets

I have a few RSS feeds that I follow, plus I go along to revit & BIM talks when they are in town. A couple of useful things have just come up that I want to tag as they are useful tools and I want to be able to refer back to them.

Using Phase Filters to create transparent Revit links

Kevin Thicket mentioned this at a BIMinNZ meeting. It was from a presentation by Enscape. Here is the article Don’t Let The Building Get In The Way Of Exploring Your Design!

The idea of this is, if you are working in Structural or MEP disciplines and you get an updated model from the Architects, you can make the Architectural Linked Model semi transparent so that you can explore the services/structure and possible coordination issues in your model. You do it by setting up Phase Filters and Phase Materials (eg Glass- semi transparent) so you use the material properties to vary transparency of the link model.

This sounds like an excellent way of being able to review part of the design quickly by making link files transparent. A good working drawing/coordination process.

In image below architectural detail turned trasparent so you can see structural elements more clearly and also see structural in relation to architectural.

Image taken from Enscape article

Duplicate sheets quickly

This article A Quick Way to Duplicate Sheets is something I’ve found very useful. Set up blank sheets at the top of your sheet sets. Then click on it, Ctrl C & Ctrl V and copy as many as those sheets as you like.

The sheets cannot have views on them , but It can contain a keynote legend, a schedule, or symbols (i.e. graphic scales, north arrow) and also IMAGES, but that’s it. If it contains anything else (plans, sections, drafting views, legends), then it won’t copy.

So, when I make a new set/package of drawings I can just create the same title block quickly. Also I found I’d some location maps (google Map images) and i could just Copy/Paste a duplicate, handy for multiple packages being sent to different trades.

Now I know you can use Rushforth tools, PyRevit and other such add ins and Excel sheet lists, but I tend to build a set as I go if I’m working on my own. So going up to View> Sheet> Selecting a Title block and faffing with that I found quite tedious, and exporting/importing into Excel is fine if you have your sheet set planned (this method great for renaming a set of Drawing numbers). Having a set of Blank Title block sheets (Portrait/Landscape versions) and different A3,A4 sizes really speeds this process up.

Revit tools for workflow

I folow Michael at ArchSmarter and he had a link to this article 76 AUTODESK REVIT TIPS AND SHORTCUTS. On reviewing them there were a few items that I wasn’t aware of or hadn’t used before that may be useful:

6 CONSTRAINING MODELS . Putting a dimension between a door jamb and an adjacent wall & locking that dimension. When moving the wall the door will move with that wall. A good way to ensure door from sidewall setout stays the same.

30 CONVERT REVIT GROUPS INTO LINKS . When selecting the group you get the choice to convert to an external link (new revit file, or select an existing revit file). This is handy if you’ll be using that group in another project. Also handy for splitting say shell away from interior into distinct files, or Structural away from architecture. Create a group of structural elements and send off to new file.

14 ALIGNING PLANS ON REVIT SHEETS. This is a great idea, Adding two reference lines that intersect can act as a point of reference when placing views on sheets. I recently had this issue trying to overlay the same view on a sheet, one showing an earlier phase with the other phase directly over. I spent a while trying to line up the views.

Image taken from

Also handy for placing views in the same location on different sheets.

26 USE VIEW LIST SCHEDULE TO CHECK VIEW SETTING. I never even knew this existed, but a useful tool to give a heads up of all the views in the model, I’ll definitely be using this now I’m aware of it

27 COPY SCHEDULE BETWEEN DIFFERENT PROJECTS. I hadn’t thought of using the sinmple process of copy/paste, I’d always used the Project Template or, I thought you could use Transfer Project Standards, but in fact that doesn’t copy schedules. So handy to know.

29 IMPORT CAD FILE LINEWEIGHT. The line weight of lines and layers that are set to Default in AutoCAD will be assigned according to the import settings accessed by clicking File menu > Import/Export Settings > Import Line Weights DWG/DXF.
If you change the line weights in the DWG/DXF file in AutoCAD from Default to a set line weight, then the lines and layers will be imported according to the line weight that you set.

I didn’t know that one, so its handy, especially as the DraftSight CAD programme isn’t free any more. I’m downloading bricscad Shape to see if i can import 2d cad drawings in, I need to manipulate DWG’s for revit.